In Finland, access to clean nature and vast forests are everyman’s rights—you can walk, ski or cycle freely wherever you want. You can pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers, fish, use boats, swim in lakes, rivers and the sea. You can enjoy the fresh, pollution-free air and forests—the Green Gold of Finland —which are the most important natural resource as well as the source of harmony and peace of mind.
Finland has excellent connections with the rest of the world with more than 30 international airlines having regular routes to Helsinki. The national airline Finnair offers direct flights to many destinations in Asia, almost all European capital cities and the USA.
Finns start to study English at a young age, which is one of the reasons Finland has been placed among the top English-speaking countries in the world. Fluency in English advances the trade of Finnish businesses, opens new opportunities and increases the chances to succeed
Did you know this about Finland?
- Finland has four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and autumn
- A land of a thousand lakes and forests. Forests cover over over 70% of our land, and there are 188 000 lakes in Finland
- An average Finn drinks approximately 1 400 cups of coffee and eats 50 kilograms of potatoes per year
- Finland is a bilingual country. This means that we have two official languages, and they are Finnish and Swedish
- Finland is the heavy metal country, with more than 50 metal bands for every 100,000 inhabitants
- The Finnish language is one of the ten most challenging languages in the world to learn and translate
- There are over two million saunas in Finland - approximately one per household
- Finland is a land of the Midnight Sun, we have 24/7 daylight during June and July
- UNESCO World Heritage seekers will find six cultural and one natural site to explore within Finland’s borders
Find more things you should and shouldn't know from This is Finland and from Finnfacts!
Helsinki, the capital of Finland
Helsinki was built in 1550 and was moved to its current location in 1640. It became the capital of Finland after Finland gain independence in 1917. There are about 645 000 people living in the city, of which 10% speak a language other than Finnish or Swedish as their mother tongue.
The capital of Finland is a compact city easily explored on foot. Design, architecture, culture and shopping are all great exploration angles and large park areas, forests, lakes, and the coastline with numerous islands sprinkled off it make certain there’s no shortage of natural presence. Needless to say, there’s something going on in Helsinki every day of the year.
A third of Helsinki is covered in green areas. Along with a score of sports grounds, they offer great possibilities for outdoor activities and relaxation. The large Central Park and its forests spread out just outside the city centre.
Source, and more information about Helsinki: Visit Finland
Getting around in Helsinki
All Haaga-Helia Summer School 2019 students will receive a Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) public transportation card, that can be used during their stay in Helsinki. There are no limits on how much you can travel with the HSL card, to discover Helsinki region - by bus, train, tram or the metro!
If you need to travel outside of Helsinki region, it is recommended to use the HSL App to buy tickets to other regions. With the HSL App you can also buy a pass for City bikes, that have stations located all around Helsinki, making it a convenient way to move around.
Currency and Payments
Finland uses Euro (€, EUR, E, e) as its currency. Most stores accept Visa, MasterCard and debit cards. In general, Finns tend to prefer to pay by card.
If you need cash, you can obtain it from a cash machine in the Otto Network. Otto machines work with international cards bearing the following symbols: Visa, MasterCard, Visa Electron, Maestro, EC, Cirrus and Plus.
You can find places to exchange your currency at many locations in Helsinki.